Lola has been depressed.
She hasn't had her usual doggie smile, she's been responding rather half-heartedly to our efforts to play with her, she hasn't even been interested in her tug-of-war rope!
We've been terribly worried. Going over our actions over the past few days. Wondering if we could have inadvertently offended her in some way. But...nothing! We just couldn't figure it out.
But today, like sunshine after a gloomy spell, we saw the goofy grin on Lola's face again. After much celebratory back-slapping, we realized...it wasn't just Lola's brilliant smile. There was, in fact, sunshine outside after few rather dull days. And there was Lola, lying blissfully in the warm sun.
And it finally struck us:
Lola had been SAD.
No, not sad, but SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the Winter Blues, is a type of depression that is probably caused by our body's reaction to lack of sunlight.
This got me thinking about CFS and it's relationship with sunshine. Many studies suggest that natural vitamin D (through sunshine) could improve some CFS symptoms. Spending some time in natural air and sunlight is especially thought to improve the mood (hence Lola's smile).
I don't mean to suggest that we should ignore all warnings about melanoma cancers etc being caused by excessive exposure to sunlight, but I do feel that even sitting indoors and looking out at a beautiful sunny day does a lot to raise my spirits.
So maybe we should all take a page from Lola's book and just enjoy nature the way it was meant to be enjoyed.